Did you know that one of the top ten oversights during an accreditation survey is the failure to verify that your staff is currently certified? This oversight could lead to a facility not obtaining accreditation. That’s why it’s important for your facility to review all personnel records on an annual basis to ensure that each individual is in good standing with their certification and/or licensure boards.
Maintaining an ABC credential through continuing education is not just for personal edification; it matters for facility accreditation too.
When an individual becomes certified with ABC, their education doesn’t stop there. They are required to continually participate in education activities specifically related to their ABC credential, ensuring a relevant level of competence as new ideas and technological advances emerge in the profession.
Recertification operates on a five-year cycle. If, at the end of the five years, certificants have not completed the necessary credits, they are suspended. The certificant is then given a one-year period to earn their required credits and any penalty credits before they are revoked; however, during the suspension period that person is no longer able to use or provide independent care under their ABC credential.
What does this mean for accreditation? Only individuals who are actively certified can perform all tasks associated with patient care. Once an individual is suspended, they are no longer considered certified providers but rather Support Personnel as outlined below:
An ABC credential holder may delegate certain tasks in the provision of any custom fabricated or custom fitted orthosis, prosthesis or pedorthic device to non-credentialed support personnel. Those delegated tasks must be within the ABC credential holder’s scope of practice.
These tasks must not include patient assessment, formulation of the treatment plan, final fitting and delivery and any follow-up care that modifies the function of the device as originally prescribed. Any tasks delegated to Support Personnel must be supervised under Direct Supervision. (a complete definition of Support Personnel can be found in the ABC Scope of Practice)
Additionally, the recent changes to the ABC privileging policy (effective Jan. 1, 2019) specifies that ABC accredited facilities and certified individuals will no longer be able to privilege non-credentialed persons to provide patient care services. So, if one of your employee’s credentials gets suspended, they will no longer be able to independently provide patient care (or be privileged to provide care), potentially leaving you with no one on staff to provide a service that you’re accredited to provide. You will no longer be able to see patients for that service or bill Medicare until that individual rectifies their suspension or you find someone to replace them.
As you continue to provide the highest level of patient care, remember that while recertification and continuing education may not seem to affect your practice on a daily basis, they matter not only to your business but also to your patients!